Lifting with a Telehandler

There has been discussion on LinkedIn for some time about the legality of using a choker (wire rope sling in a choker hitch) over the forks of a telehandler (rough-terrain forklift). Our training specialist Bill Schofield weighed in, explaining that the OSHA regulations and industry standards do not prohibit this, but  it’s important to keep in mind they typically would not address anything this specific because it could make them legally responsible.

There are better ways to lift a load with a telehandler, such as using a jib attachment with a hoist or an hook attachment that spans the forks. But it can be done, using standard rigging safety guidelines:

  • Protect the sling from the fork edges
  • Prevent the sling from sliding off the fork
  • Do not overload the sling, fork, or telehandler

But really better yet, use a crane! Different types of machinery are designed purposefully for different types of lifts and it’s always safest to remain within manufacturers’ guidelines.

April 22, 2016
In response to customer feedback, and for safety, we are adding this warning to the blog:
At no time should any load be suspended from the forks by use of chains, ropes, straps, etc. If a load must be suspended, the use of a truss (jib) boom is mandatory. Proper rigger procedures should always be followed.

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